A few posts back I was talking about the opportunity cost of working too much and not getting enough time to do stuff you wanted to do aside from earning money. The idea of downshifting came up, which is throttling back on hours worked to have more personal time in your schedule. Well starting March 1st I went to 30hrs/wk vs. 40hrs/wk and I am now working 3 days/wk with a few flex hours to work at home during the rest of the week so I can stay on top of projects.
I’d love to tell you this was part of my cunning plan for world domination, but sadly that’s not so. I would have preferred to keep earning maximum dollars and saving as much as I can for the time being until I reached my savings goal. The downshift happened simply because the company I’m contracting for doesn’t have the sales volume to justify having me around full-time at the moment. That could change and I may get more hours or it might not. There are some new projects on the horizon for that company, but until they happen it’s just speculation.
I’m of the mind that the only plan worth having is a flexible one and that most challenges are just new opportunities waiting for you to take advantage of them. Having more time off at the moment does a few positive things for me:
- I get to ride my bike more and spend more time with my friends
- Having less income helps me focus on optimizing my savings even further
- I have time to plan my next move
Since saving money is my priority right now I am looking for opportunities to ramp my income back up through alternative contracts. I’ve got stuff percolating, but as it always does these things progress at their own schedule. I don’t really want to take on a different full-time contract/position as I like what I am currently doing and there is hope it will recover. That said I’ll explore whatever opportunities come my way.
In the meantime I’m making sure that if I am not earning money during this newly freed time in my schedule I’m taking advantage of it by recreating or progressing on some of my personal goals.
My take away from all of this is simply there is no perfectly executed plan. If you want to make something happen in your life [other than roll along with things the way they are] you have to be okay with shit happening. Sometimes the unexpected event will help you move forward faster and sometimes it will slow you down or make you swerve off course a bit. That’s okay. Just stick to your priorities and make the best of what happens.